Recipe: Creamy (Whole-Wheat) Mac and Cheese

Making macaroni and cheese from scratch is almost as easy as the boxed stuff. In fact, I had a reader tell me that she and her husband decided to race against each other – one making homemade mac and cheese and the other making it out of a box – and it took them the same amount of time! And as an added bonus the homemade version tastes SO MUCH better (at least in my opinion). To be honest, I can’t even hardly eat the boxed stuff anymore because the taste of the powdered cheese just doesn’t cut it for me like it did in the old days.

I’ve shared a mac and cheese recipe on the blog before, but recently discovered a different way to make it (below). One night I was actually making Fettuccine Alfredo as a side dish, but I didn’t have any fettuccine on hand so I used macaroni noodles instead. My younger daughter said “Oh mommy, thank you for making macaroni and cheese.” (one of her favorites), and I said “Well, this isn’t exactly ‘macaroni’ babe.” But that gave me an idea. Instead of starting with a roux (butter and flour) to make macaroni maybe I could alter my Alfredo recipe and use less cream and lots more cheese for a new, creamy version of macaroni and cheese. And voila! Here you have it below…

creamy mac and cheese recipe - 100 Days of Real Food

4.5 from 24 reviews
Creamy (Whole-Wheat) Mac and Cheese
  • 1 ½ cups dry whole-wheat macaroni/elbow noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups freshly grated cheese (mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack or even better – a combination of different cheeses is highly recommended including a little Parmesan cheese if you have it)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste (this dish is great with pepper on top)
  1. In the pot you used to boil the noodles, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the ⅓ cup of cream until well combined.
  2. Turn the heat down to low and add the noodles, cheese, salt and pepper and cook while stirring until the the cheese melts. Stir in the last tablespoon of cream at the end. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
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  • Comments

    1. jane maihan |

      could you tell me how many calories are in a serving of this recipe? please. thank you,
      jane maihan

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy) |

      Hello Jane. We don’t count calories. Our focus is simply on getting real food into people’s lives and helping them get rid of the processed stuff. Once that happens a lot of other things regarding eating habits often just fall into place. However, there are online tools like My Fitness Pal that can calculate nutrition and calorie details for you. ~Amy

      • jane maihan |

        Thanks so much. I love your foods – enjoying watching your successes!!

    3. |

      Have you ever tried subbing the cream for whole milk ( I always have milk but not always cream)? I tried but the cheese clumped up and didn’t stick to the noodles. Any tips? Thanks! Love this recipe?

    4. Krista H. |

      All I can say is YUM! Made this tonight and my hubby loved it! I may try adding bacon to it next time, but it was delicious as is. And very easy!! I’ll be making this often.

    5. Cheryl |

      Thank you for the great recipe. I tried this recipe several times with different types of cheeses – my husband and I enjoyed them all but for my 6 and 4 year olds, they didn’t like it until I used all white american cheese. I asked the person at the deli counter to give me a large chunk of white american and shredded it at home. When my daughter tried it, she first said “It tastes better than I thought it would” and after a few bites she said it was the “best mac and cheese ever” and it was “perfect”. Thank you for a mac and cheese recipe I can feed my children that is not out of the box, which by the way was previously my daughter’s “favorite” mac and cheese.

    6. angie |

      This was fabulous! I added a small piece of cream cheese, with my cheddar!

    7. Andrea |

      Can you make the sauce separately (without mixing in the noodles) and then freeze it? I do this with another recipe.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi there. You can freeze it but it changes the texture of the sauce somewhat.

    8. Jamie |

      I made this just now. I used pepper jack, medium cheddar and sharp cheddar and a sprinkle of Parmesan on top. It’s decent. It’s not a replication of the boxed stuff. Which might not be a bad thing. Hubby loves it even with the whole grain noodles.

    9. Ally Cathey |

      How many servings does this make? How does it do warmed up or frozen?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Ally. All of Lisa’s recipes are designed to feed a family of four with some leftovers. We are not specific about serving sizes and this post will help explain why: Regarding freezing, you can freeze it but the consistency of the “sauce” does change when reheating.

    10. Sheree |

      What brand of macaroni do you use? I have no problem finding whole wheat penne, but not elbow.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi there. The brands we buy vary but most stores carry Hodson Mill.

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